Mar 8, 2018 | By Tess

Today is International Women’s Day. A day for women all over the world and from all walks of life to not only celebrate the massive strides in women’s rights and freedoms over the past century, but to acknowledge and recognize the ongoing equality struggles that exist across the globe and in all sectors of society.

I feel this Women’s Day will hold a particular significance, as certain aspect of women’s inequality have been brought to the fore over the past year with the #MeToo campaign. Not only have women loudly announced things that make a woman’s existence unique and challenging, but in voicing these issues, we have been united and determined.

The technology field, still mostly dominated by men, has undergone criticisms over the past year as well for a trend of gender-based discrimination. This past November, The New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote an illuminating piece on the problem, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention engineer Susan Fowler’s account of working for Uber.

In light of these ongoing struggles for women in tech, we at 3Ders want to highlight and celebrate some of the women who have made and are making an impact in the 3D printing industry. These are women who have not only contributed to the advancement of the technology and its applications but who have helped to challenge and begin to break down barriers in the field.

From scientists to company founders, makers, engineers, and designers, women have played a crucial role in the proliferation of 3D printing across a number of industries. To recognize some of these inspiring women, we've compiled a (non-exhaustive) list of influential women in the industry:

Iris van Herpen

Of course we had to include Iris van Herpen on our list of innovative women within the field of 3D printing as the Dutch designer was the first to ever send a 3D printed fashion piece down the runway in 2010. Since the debut of that first piece, Crystallization, van Herpen has forged on into the world of 3D printed fashion, making some of the most conceptually intricate and physically beautiful 3D printed garments we’ve ever seen. A pioneer of 3D printed fashion, van Herpen has been an inspiration to innovative fashion designers everywhere.

Neri Oxman

Israeli designer and architect Neri Oxman has been responsible for some amazing advancements within the field of ecological architecture. Oxman, who is a professor at the MIT Media Lab, has been using 3D printing to usher in a new architectural philosophy that is inspired by nature and material ecology. At the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxman even predicted that 3D printing would be responsible for a fourth industrial revolution not focused on exploitation and profit, but on humanity and ecological creation.

Nora Toure

Not only has Nora Toure had a successful career in the 3D printing industry working as General Manager for online 3D printing service Sculpteo but she is also the founder of Women in 3D Printing a progressive blog that highlights influential women within the 3D printing world all year round. Along with a team of four other women, Toure conducts interviews and writes profiles on women within the industry, effectively showcasing how crucial women are to the continued development of 3D printing technologies.

Jessica Rosenkrantz

Jessica Rosenkrantz is one half of generative design studio Nervous System, which you may know from its amazing Kinematic designs. Along with her partner Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Rosenkrantz has been integrating new technologies such as 3D printing, generative systems, and webGL into unconventional design projects since 2007. Nervous System’s 3D printed kinematic flowing dress design and its more recent 3D printed petal dress have provided a unique model for 3D printing a whole garment on a relatively small 3D printer. Rosenkrantz, a graduate in architecture and biology from MIT, never ceases to inspire us through her uncanny ability to combine generative design, innovative materials, and 3D printing to create stunning works of fashion art. In fact, Nervous System’s 3D printed dresses are even featured at renowned art museums such as the MoMA and the MFA Boston.

Naomi Wu

Naomi ‘SexyCyborg’ Wu is a Shenzhen-based maker who has gained immense popularity within the 3D printing community for her provocative and creative 3D printed wearables. Her creations include a 3D printed underlit LED skirt, 3D printed shoes equipped with a penetration test kit, a 3D printed nano drone wrist mount, a wearable 3D printer, and more.

Wu is also an outspoken woman in the field of technology and is continually seeking to not only increase and improve female representation within 3D printing, but also to break down any conceptions of what a woman in tech should be. We recently interviewed Naomi Wu and gained insight into the maker’s inspirations, drives, and goals.

Jennifer A. Lewis

Dr. Jennifer A. Lewis, a professor at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, is also the co-founder of Voxel8, a startup that has begun to commercialize the 3D printing of functional materials, such as wires, embedded conductors, and batteries into the normal matrix materials of 3D printing. Lewis and her team of researchers have been responsible for making some big advancements in the field of multi-material 3D printing, having successfully 3D printed conductive inks, lightweight composites, lithium ion microbatteries, and embedded sensors in stretchable matrices. Lewis has also worked within the field of 4D printed structures, and has helped to develop quick changing multi-material printheads.

Grace Choi

Grace Choi, a graduate from Harvard Business School and the founder of the world’s first makeup 3D printer Mink, is another inspiring and successful female figure in the world of 3D printing. Her makeup 3D printer was first presented at Techcrunch Disrupt in 2014 and provoked much interest in both the maker community and mainstream news. Mink, which is capable of 3D printing custom colored makeup from colors selected by you on a desktop computer, even shocked the makeup industry through its capability to create any color on demand.

Caroline Walerud

Caroline Walerud was recently added to Forbes’ renowned 30 under 30 for her innovative work developing 3D foot scanners and has also made it onto our list of inspiring women for her dedication to 3D scanning technologies and innovations. Walerud is the co-founder of Stockholm-based startup Volumental, which is using 3D scanning technologies to find the perfect fit for shoe-shoppers. Excitingly, the company recently made a deal with U.S. retailer Nordstrom to implement its 3D foot scanning system, and will soon branch out into its second phase of 3D facial scanning for opticians and eyewear brands.

Ann Marie Shillito

In 2007, contemporary designer/maker Ann Marie Shillito co-founded the Scotland-based 3D software development company Anarkik3D. Since then, Anarkik3D has been a useful platform for designers unaccustomed to using CAD technologies to work with 3D modeling. Created by and for designers, Shillito’s company has incorporated touch and tactility into 3D modeling through its signature haptic 3D mouse, making for a unique and innovative 3D design experience.

Kerry Hogarth

In 2012, Kerry Hogarth founded 3D Printshow with the aim of showcasing innovation within the 3D printing world and introducing the technology to other industries such as healthcare, aerospace, and automotive. Since its founding, Hogarth’s 3D Printshow has been recognized as the world’s first fully interactive 3D printing show and has gone on to host some of the most renowned events in the 3D printing world. Though Hogarth sold part of her company to Tarsus PLC in 2014, she continues to work on spreading the potential of 3D printing with 3D Printshow.

Cherie Stamm

Cherie Stamm, another influential woman in 3D printing, is the co-founder of Norwegian 3D software development company Uformia. With a background in IT technologies and digital processes and with a special interest in 3D modeling and printing, Stamm and her team have successfully created a volumetric 3D modeling software that is built to prioritize parametric 3D fabrication instead of just visualization. Not only that, Stamm has built her company around a humanitarian and ecological ethos focused on community development and open source innovation.

Stefanie Mueller

Stefanie Mueller was sure to make it onto our list of influential women in the industry as we have followed her various engineering projects over the last few years. Mueller is a PhD student in the Human Computer Interaction Group at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Germany, and has helped to create a number of notable projects in her time there, such at the LaserStacker, a 3D laser cutter; the Protopiper, a sort of large-scale 3D printing pen; a 3D patching system; Scotty, a conceptual teleporting 3D printer; Platener, a 3D software that uses both 3D printing and laser cutting; WirePrint, a generative software that speeds up prototyping; and faBrickator, a software that “legofies” your design.

Danit Peleg

Israeli fashion designer Danit Peleg has also been a big inspiration to us at 3Ders, and we are sure many other designers and makers out there can say the same. The fashion design student made a name for herself in 2016 when she designed and created an entire ready-to-wear collection on a desktop 3D printer. Now, after the success of her stylish and accessible 3D printed garments, Peleg works as a technology advisor for designers and fashion houses.

Megumi Igarashi

Sometimes the most innovative and inspirational people are those who cause some controversy, which is exactly the case with Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi who 3D scanned and printed a sculpture of her own vagina. While the piece may have provoked interest almost anywhere, Igarashi was actually arrested for her 3D printed vagina as Japanese officials claimed she was illegally spreading obscenity. Now, several years after her initial arrest, Igarashi is still entangled in court processes and is being fined thousands of dollars, but has continued to create her progressive 3D printed artworks despite this. You go, Rokude Nashiko! (Japanese for “bad girl”...)

Anouk Wipprecht

Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht is one of the leading forces in the field of Fashion-Tech, which seeks to combine fashion with engineering, science, and interactive user experience. The designer has not only forged an impressive path into the future of smart wearables, but has consistently used 3D printing technologies to do so. From her 3D printed Smoke Dress which was unveiled in 2013, to her 3D printed robotic Spider Dress, Anouk Wipprecht has truly brought fashion into the future with wearables that not only look amazing, but respond and react to their wearer and their environment.

Viola Acoff

Viola Acoff is a metallurgical and materials engineer who has been working to promote STEM education for over two decades. Currently acting as associate dean for undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Alabama, Acoff holds a doctoral degree in materials engineering and has expertise in additive manufacturing, materials characterization using electron microscopy, welding metallurgy, and more.

It is not only her own accolades which have landed Acoff on our list, however, as the well established engineer has done a great deal to promote and encourage STEM education at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the U.S.

Notably, Acoff has played an integral role in establishing materials engineering courses and programs at HBCUs by developing a program geared towards helping faculty integrate the discipline into science and math courses.

Ping Fu

Ping Fu is the definition of a powerful tech entrepreneur, and is definitely one of the most inspirational women in 3D printing today. Fu is the co-founder of 3D software development company Geomagic, where she served as CEO until the company was acquired by 3D Systems in 2013. At that point, Fu rose to the occasion, and became Vice President and Chief Entrepreneur Officer at 3D Systems, one of the leading 3D printer companies in the world. Fu has been honored with several awards, including being named Inc. magazine's 2005 "Entrepreneur of the Year."

What's even more incredible is that Ping Fu's massive influence in the tech world goes beyond 3D printing: In the early 1990s, while working at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), she helped initiate Mosaic—an early web browser that helped popularize the World Wide Web as we know it today.

Heather Goodrum

Last July, Heather Goodrum was appointed as the UK’s first ever biomedical 3D technician. In the position, Goodrum is responsible for designing and 3D printing surgical models, implants, and cutting guides at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales.

The first appointment of its kind in the UK’s National Heath Service (NHS), the 3D technician job occupied by Goodrum is a notable one. What is particularly interesting about Goodrum and her professional trajectory, is that she was not originally a medical student. Rather, she completed an undergraduate degree in theater design. During her studies, she became particularly skilled at 3D design, which ultimately led her to study facial forensic art and be qualified to become the UK’s first biomedical 3D technician.

Cathy Lewis

3D Systems is one of the leading industrial 3D printer manufacturers in the world, thanks in large part to the business savvy of our next influential woman in 3D printing: Cathy Lewis. As Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Lewis is responsible for all marketing strategies and functions, including global branding, multi-channel marketing, and the positioning and marketing of the company's leadership and product services. Before joining 3D Systems, Lewis spent more than ten years at Xerox in a number of executive marketing and sales management positions. She then became CEO of Desktop Factory, a 3D printer startup that was acquired by 3D Systems in 2009. The rest, as they say, is history.

Marleen Vogelaar

Way back in 2007, Marleen Vogelaar, Peter Weijmarshausen, and Robert Schouwenburg founded a small spin-off of Royal Philips Electronics, called Shapeways. Flash-forward a decade, and Shapeways is one of the leading 3D printing services and marketplaces worldwide. As COO/CFO of the company, Vogelaar was in charge of overseeing production both in New York City and the Netherlands, and although she resigned in 2014 to pursue new areas of work, her overarching vision as one of the lead founders had a lasting effect on Shapeways and the 3D printing industry as a whole.

Suz Somersall

Suz Somersall is notable for her passion for promoting STEAM education—that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, incredibly important areas of study that, unfortunately, young girls are often discouraged from pursuing. Recently, we wrote about Suz Somersall and her project KiraKira, which is using 3D printing and jewelry design tutorials to get young girls interested in engineering and new technologies. Somersall, an industrial designer herself, saw the importance of shrinking the gender gap in such fields as engineering, and is working to inspire the next generation of women to become active makers and innovators.

Barbara Hanna

Barbara Hanna has a PhD in Computer Vision and is co-founder of both Neuromatters and 3D printing startup Cyant. Hanna is passionate about fostering engagement, creativity, and real-world problem solving using both Arts and Technology. Lately, that passion has turned towards 3D printing technology. Cyant is a creative project that teaches children STEAM concepts by allowing them to turn their drawings into 3D printed objects. It's a fun and hands-on experience that combines creativity with the technological skills they'll need for the future.

Gina Häußge

As the creator of OctoPrint, one of the most versatile and popular 3D printer hosts, Gina Häußge is undoubtedly on our list of influential women in the 3D printing industry. The German developer created the 3D printer host web interface in 2012 and has since maintained OctoPrint as a free and open source tool for makers everywhere. OctoPrint, for those unfamiliar, allows makers to wirelessly connect their 3D printers through a Raspberry Pi in order to easily monitor and control their prints remotely. According to Häußge, the monthly download rates for OctoPrint are in the thousands.

Mary Huang

In 2011, NY-based designer and technologist Mary Huang founded Continuum, a design studio that has become known for its innovative and stunning tech fashion pieces, including the N12 3D printed bikini, as well as ShoeKit, an open source DIY shoe-making kit that uses 3D printing. In founding and running Continuum, Huang, who studied design and media arts at UCLA and interaction design at CIID, has established herself as a pioneer of tech oriented fashion, and as a notable woman within the field of additive manufacturing.

Kegan Schouwenburg

Kegan Schouwenburg made her debut in the 3D printing world at 3D printing company Shapeways, where she worked for many years. Since then, the young entrepreneur has gone on to found her very own company, SOLS, which our readers may already know as a manufacturer of custom 3D printed insoles. Schouwenburg currently sits as CEO of the New York based 3D printing startup and is an inspiration to young industrial designers everywhere. What we particularly appreciate about Kegan Schouwenburg is not only her achievements within the field of 3D printing, but also her candidness about what is it like to run a business in the industry as a woman.

On February 22, 2017, footwear specialist Aetrex acuqired SOLS Systems.

Joan Horvath

Joan Horvath, aka the “3D Printing Evangelist,” is the co-founder of Nonscriptum LLC, a 3D printing consulting firm that has helped many businesses and educational institutions to integrate additive manufacturing technologies in a strategic and beneficial way. Not only that, however, Horvath also has 16 years' experience under her belt, working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab on such programs as the Magellan spacecraft to Venus, and the TOPEX/Poseidon oceanography spacecraft. Clearly an asset to the aerospace and 3D printing industries, Joan Horvath has also made her knowledge and experiences accessible to makers everywhere through her many 3D printing books, as well as her blog, which is self-described as being made up of “Occasional musings about the intersection of education, science, and the maker movement.”

Karolina Bołądź

Karolina Bołądź is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Zortrax, the Polish 3D printing company responsible for such systems as the M200 3D printer and the M300 3D printer. Bołądź, who has held her position at Zortrax since 2014, has seen the company through significant growth and has been a crucial player in keeping Zortrax’s brand reliable and trusted amongst its clientele.

Julielynn Wong

Harvard-educated public health physician Julielynn Wong is on our list of influential women in 3D printing because of her company 3D4MD, which she founded in 2011. The company, which manufactures and develops 3D printed medical devices and supplies, is specially aimed at helping remote and marginalized locations. As the company states on its website, “3D4MD is committed to bringing quality healthcare services to people regardless of their race, national origin, religion, or political affiliation.” For instance, Julielynn is responsible for designing a solar-powered mobile 3D printing system which is meant to be deployed in remote areas for the on site manufacturing of supplies. In addition to her duties for 3D4MD, Wong has contributed to the 3D printing community extensively through lectures.

Limor “LadyAda” Fried

While many makers will know and likely have used Adafruit hardware, most will also know that the prolific open source hardware company was founded by a woman, Limor Fried, also known by her moniker ladyada. Fried, an electrical engineer, is highly accomplished in the field of open source hardware, being recognized for a number of achievements, including being the first female engineer to be featured on Wired’s cover page, being awarded the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2009, the Most Influential Women in Technology award by Fast Company magazine in 2011, and the Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur in 2012. Under Limor Fried ownership, Adafruit has been proudly maintained as a “100% woman-owned company.”

Melissa Ng

Many of our readers will be familiar with 3D designer Melissa Ng, whose awesome cosplay designs for her design studio Lumecluster have wowed the maker community. Not only is Melissa a creative fantasy 3D designer, but she has also dedicated much of her work to supporting females within 3D design and cosplaying communities. For instance, she 3D printed some stunning Dream Regalia armor for female geek activist Felicia Day, and proved to skeptics that women’s cosplay armor could be practical as well as beautiful with her 3D printed Sovereign Armor. Melissa Ng is a self-taught New York based artist. In addition to 3D printed armor, she also makes intricately designed 3D printed masks, jewelry, and art.

Eva Wolf

Eva Wolf is the co-founder of Airwolf 3D, a California-based 3D printer, software, and 3D printing materials manufacturer. Eva, who founded the well established company in 2012 with her husband Erick Wolf, has helped the company to expand its reach by reaching out to new investors and partners, as well as by building on Airwolf 3D’s internal infrastructure and external distribution. Notably, Airwolf 3D has taken a particularly inspiring approach towards STEM education, by developing specialized drone building kits for schools, as well as by donating a number of their AXIOM 3D printers to schools (despite a number of them being stolen).

Maryam Al-Kuwaiti

Maryam Al-Kuwaiti holds a special position on our list of influential women in 3D printing. The 25-year-old engineer played an important and integral role in the development and realization of the United Arab Emirates’ first 3D printed aircraft interior components. The female engineer has been recognized as a pioneer in the UAE’s additive manufacturing aerospace initiative.

More specifically, Al-Kiwaiti works for Strata Manufacturing PJSC’s joint initiative with Siemens and Etihad Airways which is aimed at producing 3D printed aircraft parts. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the UAE University, internships at the University of Oxford, California-based GlobalFoundries, and at the Airbus base in Toulouse, France.

As a prominent female engineer in the UAE’s aerospace industry, Al-Kiwaiti is hoping to inspire more women in the country, as well as across the Middle East to take on positions in engineering, 3D printing, and aerospace.

Virginia San Fratello

Virginia San Fratello is one of the co-founders of Rael San Fratello, an innovative architecture design studio, and Emerging Objects, which has explored the use of some truly boundary pushing 3D printing building materials, such as salt, tea, and even rubber tire. San Fratello, who currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in Art & Design at the San José State University, has focused her inspiring work on the intersection of the digital, ecological, and design in architecture. Both Rael San Fratello and Emerging Objects were also co-founded by Ronald Rael, San Fratello’s partner.

Sherry Huss

The co-creator of Maker Faire, one of the largest show-and-tell events for the maker community, Sherry Huss just had to be on our list of influential women in the 3D printing industry. Not only the co-creator of the event series, Huss is also the Vice President of Maker Media, which many makers will know is one of the leading global platforms dedicated to connecting makers with each other.

Michelle Mihevc

MIchelle Mihevc is the co-founder and CEO of California-based advanced technology company FATHOM. The company, which has many 3D printing and digital manufacturing systems (including the U.S.’s first Nano Dimension DragonFly 2020 3D printer) uses its expertise in additive manufacturing technologies to help business integrate them more efficiently into their processes. Mihevc was notably recognized as one of the Bay Area’s 2016 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times.

Xinhua Wu

Xinhua Wu has an illustrious career within the field of additive manufacturing: she not only serves as Director for the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the University of Monash in Australia, but also teaches there as a professor in Materials Science and Engineering. Notably, Wu led a team of researchers from the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing that successfully 3D printed a jet engine. The 3D printed engine will reportedly undergo tests within the next couple years. Wu has also dedicated much of her own research to the advancement of laser additive manufacturing.

Katie Weimer

Katie Weimar is another woman who plays a crucial role in the 3D printing industry as she currently holds the position of Vice President of Medical Devices Healthcare at 3D printing giant 3D Systems. Weimer got her start in the industry working as senior manager of Medical Modeling, a manufacturer of custom 3D printed medical devices. When Medical Modeling was acquired by 3D Systems in 2013, Weimer was brought on, and has since used her expertise in 3D printing and medical devices to further research and advancements in the field.

Bathsheba Grossman

Sculptor Bathsheba Grossman is on our list of influential women in the industry as she was a pioneer for the use of 3D modeling and 3D printing in sculpture and jewelry design. Her pieces, often inspired by mathematical patterns and made from 3D printed steel, are internationally renowned and have been featured in a number of gallery exhibitions, as well as in the New York Times. Grossman also sells her smaller pieces, such as the stunning Borromean Rings Pendant, or the Klein Bottle pendant on her Shapeways page.

Julia Koerner

Austria-born designer and architect Julia Koerner, founder of JK Design GmbH, is another pioneer in the 3D printed fashion world. Leveraging additive manufacturing and digital design for the production of nature and architecture-inspired wearables, the designer has collaborated with a number of Haute Couture fashion houses and Iris van Herpen, another name on this list.

Most recently, Koerner worked alongside Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter to design and 3D print stunning costume props for the film, including Queen Ramonda’s stunning crown and shoulder mantle.

Koerner, who also teaches Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California Los Angeles, caught our attention in 2015 for her stunning 3D printed Sporophyte Collection, whose designs were inspired by sea creatures.

Liza Wallach Kloski

Liza Wallach Kloski is the co-founder of HoneyPoint3D, an online platform geared towards 3D printing education. The business, which started out in 2013 as a small 3D printing retail brand in Oakland Hills, California, has since organically transitioned into a predominantly web-based business that offers a number of classes and workshops for 3D printing. Liza, who runs the business with her husband Nick, previously ran her own jewelry company, before being introduced to 3D printing technologies. With HoneyPoint3D, she is aiming to educate people about the potential of additive manufacturing.

Lisa Federici

San Francisco-based Lisa Federici has been acting CEO of Scansite3D, one of the leading 3D scanning services, since 1994. The business, which has grown immeasurably under Federici’s leadership, has a loyal and established clientele which include such organizations and companies as Boeing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NASA, Richard MacDonald Studio, NIKE, Hyundai, Warner Bros, and the Smithsonian. For over two decades, Scansite3D has served as a reliable 3D scanning service, which keeps up with the most state-of-the-art scanning equipment. Notably, Federici has also been a strong proponent for the idea that women can be moms, entrepreneurs, wives, employees, and more all at once.

Njideka Harry

Njideka Harry is the founder, president, and CEO of Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), an international non-profit organization geared towards introducing young people from low income communities in the United States (and from rural areas in developing nations) to new technologies such as 3D printing. Notably, Njideka Harry has led forward 3D Africa, a YTF effort that offers software development, mobile application, and 3D modeling training to young unemployed engineers in African nations so that they can monetize their skills more efficiently. Harry was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and obtained her BBA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was also accepted as a postgraduate fellow in the Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship at Stanford University.

Vaiva Kalnikaitė

Vaiva Kalnikaité is the founder and creative director of Cambridge, UK design studio Dovetailed. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Dovetailed has introduced some truly innovative projects, such as the Nufood 3D food printer, which is capable of 3D printing edibles out of liquid flavor drops. Other projects developed by Dovetailed include the Canary Hat, which was commissioned by the V&A, and which through a special 3D printed feather sensor is capable of telling the wearer when they are in proximity to a CCTV camera, as well as a 3D printed milk carton equipped with a camera that broadcasts your fridge to your neighbours (to encourage sharing food and reducing waste). As the 3D printing innovator has said, she is continually interested in “creating technologies for self-quantification, behavioural change, internet of things, wearables, and creative dining.”

Leila Ladani

While you may not have heard of Leila Ladani, the Iranian-American woman is certainly a force to reckoned with in the field of 3D printing. An expert in additive manufacturing and nanomaterial and micro/nanoelectronics, Ladani has worked and researched for such illustrious agencies as NASA, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Research Institute. Currently, Leila Ladani also holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, itself one of the leading educational investors in 3D printing research and equipment.

Louise Driggers

While Louise Driggers, aka “Loubie” has not founded her own company, she has made it onto our list for an equally notable reason. The talented 3D designer, whose 3D models on Thingiverse have been immensely popular, was embroiled in a 3D printing scandal which rallied the maker community together and ultimately drew attention to intellectual property rights surrounding 3D models. In short, Driggers posted a symbolic “sad face” 3D model to protest an eBay store that was selling people’s free designs, including her own, as 3D printed models. In the end, the makers won, as the eBay store removed the open-source models, and the event marked a milestone for the discourse surrounding intellectual property rights for digital 3D models.

Alice Taylor

Alice Taylor is the founder and CEO of MakieLab, an online toy platform that allows customers to design their very own 3D printed dolls. The UK based company, one of the first companies to retail 3D printed toys, has seen immense success over the past couple years, with partnerships with Disney and an upcoming expansion into the United States. Not only are Makie dolls awesome because they are 3D printed, but Alice Taylor has introduced a new level of customization to dolls and toys as clients can decide on their dolls look and features, from eye color, hair style, and even such distinguishing features as birthmarks, disabilities, etc. In this sense, Taylor is an inspiration as well as influential as she has used 3D printing to make toys more inclusive to all. In Feb, 2017, MakieLab was acquired by Disney.

Jenny Wu

Jenny Wu, the founder of architecture and design firm Oyler Wu Collaborative, is also the founder of one of our favorite 3D printed jewelry lines, LACE. Wu’s jewelry is inspired by her architectural expertise, and reflects the increasing intersections between design and technology in wearables. The pieces, available through LACE’s online shop, often feature complex interlocking shapes, which, while stunning to observe, are also a testament to the designer’s talent and artistry. In this way, Jenny Wu is another woman who is pushing the boundaries of what 3D printing can do and what it can mean in our lives.

Shami Oshun

Perhaps the youngest woman on this list is 18-year-old fashion designer Shami Oshun. Based in Bay Area, California, Oshun founded her own fashion brand in 2015 to fulfill her passion for designing and fabricating garments.

Recently, Oshun began exploring 3D printing in her fashion designs, which has allowed her to create avant-garde, abstract wearables. The young designer, who has largely been learning the ins and outs of 3D design and additive manufacturing herself, says the technology is opening up vast possibilities for her fashion creations.

Laura Taalman 

Laura Taalman, also known as [mathgrrl] on Thingiverse, is simultaneously a prolific maker and a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at James Madison University. As a self-professed “math geek,” Taalman’s 3D printing projects are inspired and informed by mathematics. Her original makes include a 3D printed snowflake generator that automatically designs unique snowflake models for 3D printing, a pentagonal tessellation 3D printed bracelet, and a 3D printed “impossible screw” which could not be fabricated using anything but 3D printing

Netia McCray

Netia McCray is founder and CEO of Mbadika, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving young people across the globe—and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America—the tools and guidance to become their own community leaders and entrepreneurs. Through educational workshops, DIY projects, and STEM-focused activities, McCray’s organization strikes to equip youth with critical information and skills required in the modern, tech-oriented world.

Recently, McCray and her colleague Erica Nwankwo leveraged the excitement surrounding Black Panther to release a series of 3D design and 3D printing tutorials aimed at young potential makers. The goal of the 3D printing initiative is to teach children that they can become creators and product designers by using accessible technologies such as Tinkercad and desktop 3D printing.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of women in 3D printing. Almost everyday we hear about inspiring and innovative projects within the 3D printing industry which are led and spearheaded by creative and ambitious women. We can’t wait to see what is next for the women we’ve highlighted and for the thousands of other females in the 3D printing world.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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Me wrote at 3/9/2018 9:35:05 PM:

Not to mention Katharina Kreitz who founded VectoFlow, a startup printing multi hole probes for fluid flow measurements. This kind of probes are e.g. used for instrumentation of formula one cars. (german)

Ann Marie Shillito wrote at 3/9/2018 1:57:47 AM:

Absolutely well done, to you all and to the many other women who are beavering away in the 3D print sectors, bringing fresh perspectives and innovation to solving big and small issues. So very proud to be counted amongst you all.

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